Disney wine and dine weekend!! WAAAHHHOOOOOO!!!
The moment we'd been waiting for since I stupidly given my credit card to Disney in April and booked our hotel room! Ma was in town to hang with the kiddos and pups, UP was finally finished with class, a work dinner and was at the house and we were on the road!
I'd booked us a hotel on property at one of the value resorts. I knew we'd only be spending a few hours in the hotel and I wanted something we could take the bus to and from the start/finish line, so All Star it was.
The drive seemed to take FOREVER! Even though it was 3 adults and we passed the time listening to/watching stand-up, I wanted to just wiggle my nose and be there. We opted to not stop and eat so we could just get there, only to discover that the food court closes at a certain time (aka about 15 minutes before we checked in). We ordered a pizza and headed up to the room. A couple of slices later and we were all tucked in, ready for a good night's sleep.
The next day, half-marathon day!!, we headed over to the expo. I had no idea what to expect. We parked, and started walking. We stood in a not-s0-bad line and were ready to check in, get our bibs and be official!
Except for one little problem.
I'd filled out all the paperwork, and I SWEAR I would have caught this, but I had all of our "what we're called" names put on our bibs. That's great for me (who goes by my real name) and UP (who goes by his middle name), but not so great for Hubs (who goes by a nickname of his real name no way incorporated on his FL drivers license).
And the blood pressure rises...
We all flash our ids and the problem started. It's not the name on the list! This name doesn't match! I'm not sure.....
OH NO. You can NOT tell me that we (well, the boys) have been training so hard for this, and now, because of a southern nickname, Hubs isn't going to get to run!??!
Luckily, the "cast member" sitting to the left of check-in gal, had a name tag with her city clearly visible; Charlotte, NC. Come on, southern lady! Help us out!
She sat nodding in agreement the entire time we were checking in, and eventually, the official check-in girl deemed us "legal" to accept our bibs. We crossed the tag check, verified our names and ages and off to pick up our swag bags!
I must say, our bag was quite nice! A clear bag for our checked stuff, some gu, some samples and a sweet little wine and dine running shirt. We decided to walk around the expo and that might have been the biggest mistake we made all day. I just wanted to get a Wine and Dine something to remember the weekend by. What we ended up getting? 2 wine and dine wine glasses, 3 bags of apples, a pair of chiquita banana sunglasses and 2 tattoos, a new pair of headphones for me, a new powerband for Hubs and a set of Cutco knives. Yes, we went to run a half-marathon and bought a new set of knives.
After impulse buying our way around, we headed to downtown disney for a late lunch/early dinner/last meal. Then, it was back to the hotel to rest.
And since I was with 2 of the girliest guys, we also had to pick out and try on our outfits. After our ensembles were assigned, we pinned on our bibs, drank some water, packed our after-race bags, drank some water, filled out our emergency contact information, drank some water, charged our ipods, drank some water, packed our gu and gatorade, drank some water and got dressed. And then we hopped on the bus! At 7:45! Yay for early arrivers!
One of my biggest stressors was knowing there were going to be about 200 port-a-potties and knowing there was about a 200% chance I was going to have to use one at some point during the evening. If you were paying attention in the above paragraph, you might have noticed we were drinking a LOT of water. So it should come as no surprise that after we checked our bags into the u-haul, grabbed another bottle of water and found a spot on the lawn to enjoy the preparty, I had to pee. NOOOOOOO!
Off to the line of port-a-potties we went. Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.
I must say there is a really big difference in using a port-a-potty at a Dave Matthews Band concert, lawn seats, and using one just before a half-marathon. People might as well have been walking in, flipping the lock and pouring bottled water into the hole filled with blue water. Not too bad at all!
But we still had two hours before the race started.
So we danced, watched some crazies jumping around, met up with UP's friends, and I finally faced my other fear and ate a cliff shot block. Ew. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn't because it's like the shot block adheres to your stomach lining and there's nothing to puke. We then shuffled into our corral.
Somehow, we managed to get assigned to corral C. Right in the middle! The national anthem was performed, we all waited excitedly and BAM!
And about a minute later, we shuffled forward and repeated the process.
Finally about 12 minutes after 10, we were off. I mean, really off. The boys wanted to run together, and I was feeling a little wheezy so told them to go ahead and I'd see them at the finish line. They took off, and I started to try to pace myself. And then, something amazing happened.
I passed someone. Then another person! Then another group of three! And a few more people!!! I'm running in a half-marathon AND I'm running faster than someone (well 9 someones!)! If I can manage to not get picked up by the bus, I'll officially check my half goals off my list!
I clopped along down what felt like the longest road ever and finally came to the first mile marker. By the second mile marker, I could tell I was not running my best and was SO going to have to do one of these stinkin' things again. I kept trying to push myself a little harder, but kept getting caught up in the same group of slowpokes and could not get around.
The race was awesome though, and there were parts of the electrical parade all along the way, music blaring, character spots, it was great! And just when I thought I was never going to get there, I ran under the Animal Kingdom sign! YES!! Finally the first park!
And if I hated that park with a double stroller in 100*+ heat, it was 15 times worse at night with thousands of runners. I'd finally gotten up to a good pace and was feeling in the groove. I ran under a bridge, up a hill and knew the tree of life would be in sight at any momen---AHHH!
Well, the park is the same running. Just when I thought I was home free, the chick running in front of me (at a part where we were in a straight line) comes to a full stop, pulls out her camera and takes a picture of the tree.
I almost slam into her, manage to hop around her and the 12 others doing the same, and keep going. I kept telling myself, "You hate this park! If you stop now, it's going to take you that much longer to get out if it!" and somehow, I kept running! I made it past the point where the relay swap was happening, through a back lot and out into the parking lot, around the parking booth and I was on to the next park!
And somewhere around mile 8, I was running over a bridge and people were honking and I had to wave and smile. I was doing it! I was actually doing it! I was RUNNING a half-marathon! Oh if coach Sherman could see me now! The girl who could give everything for that one stupid mile it took to make the soccer team, complaining the whole way, was running a half marathon!
And at that point, it became a blur.
There was a green army man screaming at us as we climbed a hill to Hollywood Studios, my mind tried desperately to figure out where I was and suddenly I was at the Tower of Terror, I thought back to the race map, trying to think how much longer I had to go, and I was at mile 10. I was pushing, but had to stop and laugh at/with a cute couple next to me. I'd pulled my earpiece out of one ear for the water stop and I hear her say, "This. was. the. dumb. est. idea. I. ever. had." to which he replied, "Come on, baby! You can do it! We're at 10! Just a 5K left to go!"
Just a 5k! Shoot me now!
But suddenly, I was on the boardwalk then I could see parts of Epcot and before I knew it, I could see the finish line! THE FINISH LINE!! I knew the boys had finished way before me, so I slowed down a little to look around, hoping to see their smiling faces somewhere in the crowd. Not seeing anyone familiar, I pushed it on across the finish line, threw my arms up in the air and slowed it to a jog, then a walk. I went over to some awesome volunteers who put the (heavy!) medal around my neck. I did it.
I. did. it.
And because I needed to know, I looked back and saw a gaggle of people behind me. I did it. I wasn't last, the bus didn't pick me up, I finished. At that moment I wanted to cry. And throw up a little. And get some water. And pee. And sit down. And lie down. And find the boys. But my jelly legs just kept going where I picked up a bottle of water, grabbed a bag and some gatorade, a banana, a cliff bar, and some other stuff. Before I knew it, I was standing in line to get my official post-race picture taken. I did it! I'm holding my medal and I finished and I look great! (nope! No mirrors! I saw the picture, I looked like a sweaty mess.). I started to make my way over to the bag claim area and I saw them! The boys had finished, beating the 2 hour mark (amazing!), Hubs was 3 steps away from losing a toenail (which he nicely texted a picture of to me) and they were ready to party! We grabbed my stuff, changed (large open tent where I was pretty sure when I took off my shorts, I WOULD fall over) and headed into the wine and dine party.
This was the one disappointing part of the night.
It's the WINE and dine. And what do they hand me? A skunky beer. Boooo. But they did give us all a $10 gift card, so we wobbly made our way around the world to Italy where I was able to get myself a glass of wine and the three of us could pose for a picture with the epcot ball in the background.
We did it! We actually did it!
And I must say, the bling at Disney is so fantastic, I think we're hooked. Counting down the days until the next wine and dine! I think it's an annual thing now.