Sparkle Skirts To Beat Cancer!

Sparkle Skirts have become a regular part of my running since the first skirt I bought. When I started my running journey I was a plus sized lady in a regular sized running world. Sparkle Skirts stood out like a beacon of light carrying sizes even larger then I was at the time. I bought my first skirt to run as Minnie Mouse and I refuse to run in anything else. Oh the pockets! Even Bill has worn them! GASP!

014 WDW Half - EPCOT Photo Stop

014 WDW Half – EPCOT Photo Stop

I am running in June to help find a cure for cancer. Cancer has touched my life in too many ways to count but currently my father is struggling with cancer and my half-brother is in Hospice living out his last days. I want to find a cure for cancer and you can help and maybe get a Sparkle Skirt too!

Disclaimer:  I am NOT employed by Sparkle Skirts. I do not receive anything from them for telling people about them. I just love their products.

I’m all about spreading the love and sparkles. This is your chance to get ANY skirt you want, with such a minimal cost AND contribute to an amazing cause. Cancer Sucks and I am running to end cancer (it’s tax deductible!).  ALL PROCEEDS ARE FOR LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY.

So here’s how to get in on this great deal! Please read through so you know how to enter.

Raffle ticket is $20.  Everyone get one entry so it’s fair chance for everybody.   Of course, you are more than welcome to donate more than $20 but you only get one entry just like everyone else.

Get your entry at http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/rnrseatl14/lmossc/   Please do NOT make your donation as anonymous as I will need to know who you are to enter your name on the raffle.    Please also put:  Sparkle On in the notes so I know this is an entry for the raffle.  You will get an email from me to confirm you are in the raffle.

I will close the raffle on March 23, 2014 at 11pm PST and will announce the winner on March 24, 2014 at 12pm PST.

I will use a random generator site (http://www.randompicker.com/) to select the name of the winner.  You will be able to check your entry to make sure your name is entered to the system.

 

Let’s all get together and kill cancer for good. Who is with me?

I am running for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Cancer has really effected my life in so many ways and honestly right now in my life more then most other times. My half-brother is in hospice living out his final days. My dad has prostate cancer again and has decided not to go through chemotherapy. One of my dear friends 11-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. The reality of it all is CANCER SUCKS!

Bill and I have decided to run a race in honor of all those that suffer from this awful thing. Not just the people that have it but also their family and friends. I want to raise as much money as I can to end cancer. Would you like to be a part of that?

If you are interested here are the links to our donation pages.

Leslie

http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/rnrseatl14/lmossc

Bill

http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/rnrseatl14/bmossz

Help us end cancer.

 

 

Who Are You Calling Dopey

The alarm clock when off at some ridiculous time in the morning and I thought to myself really again. Then I realized it was Sunday otherwise known as Marathon Day. It would be the last day I would have to get up really early and go run (at least for a while).  With the practice we had we had the routine down pretty good and were soon heading out the door.  Leslie was not running, but she had plans to do lots of ChEaring so she had a backpack full of various supplies and 12 pounds of clementines. Of course I was dressed as Snow White (in honor of the Dopey) and had a backpack full of water, nut butter packets, nunn tablets (electrolyte replacement like Gatorade but without the sugars) and various other things I might need along the way.

2014 Dopey Full - Ready To Get Dopey

2014 Dopey Full – Ready To Get Dopey

We got over to EPCOT and met up with our friends. We managed to get a great group shot this morning before we started to wander off.

2014 Dopey Full - Group Picture Before the Race

2014 Dopey Full – Group Picture Before the Race

I went into the race retreat tent to use the facilities and also see what character was there. It was Mary Poppins, Bert and Penguins again.  Since I was different – I decided to get another picture. I think I confused Bert – he told me I had a nice bow tie.

2014 Dopey Full - A nice Bow Tie?

2014 Dopey Full – A nice Bow Tie?

Since we had some additional time to kill I got a picture taken with a Green Army Man also.

2014  Dopey Full - Snow White and Green Army Man

2014 Dopey Full – Snow White and Green Army Man

It was time to head to the corals and Niki, Steve, Nichole and I started the long walk together.  As we walked we chatted about a variety of things and were amazed as Niki found places to stash her food she was taking with her for the race. We got to the point where we split up going to our corals – we were all in separate ones and told each other to have a good race.

Now I was in the coral by myself – well not really by myself but not with anyone that I knew and it hit me.  I have completed 3 of the 4 days of the challenge or 75%, however I also knew that over the last 3 days I ran 22.4 miles and when cross the start line I would have complete 26.2 miles.  I knew that I could go the distance, but I was concerned about staying ahead of the balloon ladies if my knee should give me problems and make me walk. The time passed and started our slow walk up to the start line.  I must have really been more stressed out about the marathon than I thought – I do not have a picture of the start line. I know I started – I have lots of pictures from the race.

This section inserted later – I started this blog Friday and got a little past this point. Earlier in the week Leslie and I signed up with Team in Training for the Seattle Half Marathon in June. Saturday was our first team training run in Seattle for 40 minutes, however since I am doing a half later in February I really needed to run more than 40 minutes today. I went out in the afternoon to run another 7 miles and the fact that I did not get a picture of the start line was bugging me. I remember the fireworks – there were more fireworks for the Marathon than the halves I have done with Disney. I could not believe that I did not get a picture – then I thought to look at the pictures in my phone and sure enough – I took them with my phone and not the camera I was carrying.

2014 Dopey Full - Start Line

2014 Dopey Full – Start Line

Since I was concerned about my knee I knew I would need to make sure I started slow to get it warmed up, so my plan was to walk the first mile. I stopped to take a picture of the mile marker (and got all of them except for one), and then started with my intervals. To force myself to not go to too fast I changed my intervals to have a longer walk segment. As I could hear the fireworks and knew the corals behind me were starting – it was hard not to run or speed up, but I knew that I needed to pace myself.

Things were going well I got the turn and started down World Drive, and was disappointed. On both of the halves I ran at Walt Disney World, Captain Jack and the pirate ship are in this section of the run – and they were not there. I was planning on stopping for a photo.  Oh well it will allow me to continue on without stopping and get some more distance between me and the balloon ladies.

Continued down World Drive and went thru the gates to the Magic Kingdom parking area.  I am not really sure where – but somewhere either before or soon after this I caught up with Nichole.  Nichole was recovering from an injury and could not run much and was doing the Dopey walking. I knew that Leslie would be waiting at the Ticket and Transit Center and told Nichole I would walk with her until we got to Leslie. We had a good for about a mile and then saw the Castle – no not the Castle in the park – the one on Leslie’s head.   We said a brief hi to Leslie and continued on – this was a little before mile 4 – there were still a lot of miles to go.

2014 Dopey Full - Bill and Nichole Just Before Mile 4

2014 Dopey Full – Bill and Nichole Just Before Mile 4

I said goodbye to Nichole and started my intervals again. This time when I got near the Contemporary Hotel, I actually went off to the side and stopped to get the picture. I kind of thought for a moment about waiting and getting a monorail in the shot and figured I should just keep swimming.

2014 Dopey Full - Contemporary Hotel - Should have waited for the monorail

2014 Dopey Full – Contemporary Hotel – Should have waited for the monorail

The guy with the big Mickey hands was on the water bridge, but I don’t remember what he was saying this time – it was not as funny, but given we had not yet gotten to mile 5 and they were telling us we could go the distance was, well a bit like the people that yell out at mile 5 of 26 saying your almost there.  Sorry the picture is a bit blurred – I could not stop.

2014 Dopey Full - Just Keep Swimming (part 2)

2014 Dopey Full – Just Keep Swimming (part 2)

Right as we rounded the turn off World Drive onto the road that would take us backstage at the Magic Kingdom I stopped to get a picture of the mile 5 marker. It was also a great place to get a shot of Space Mountain.

2014 Dopey Full - Space Mountain in the Morning Light

2014 Dopey Full – Space Mountain in the Morning Light

Then thru the backstage area and onto Main Street.  Even though I was just running thru the Magic Kingdom 24 hours earlier, it was still so very cool to run thru the park. Perhaps someday I will tire of it – but it will take a lot of runs thru the park before I can imagine it.

2014 Dopey Full - Main Street USA and the Castle

2014 Dopey Full – Main Street USA and the Castle

Like the day before it was on to Tomorrowland – but today I got pictures.

2014 Dopey Full - Heading into TommorowLand

2014 Dopey Full – Heading into TommorowLand

As I crossed into Tommorowland I was on the far right hand side of the path. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a cast member on the left with pins.  I stopped and had to wait a moment and then dodge back and forth across the runners to get the other side of the road. When asked why Bill crosses the path – clearly it is for a pin trade.  I traded for a villains bowling pin and was on my way to the line for pictures with Buzz.

2014 Dopey Full - Snow White and Buzz Lightyear

Everyone gets there picture taken in front of the castle, however there were a group of maintenance men hanging out cheering on the runners – They got a kick out of my costume, so I asked if they could snap my picture. I started to concern me when guy got down low to take a picture (good thing there are shorts under the sparkle skirts).   I also decided to get a picture of the back of the castle, since I knew the pictures of the front would be on my MarathonPhoto disk.

2014 Dopey Full - Ninth Wonder of the World - The Backside of the Castle

2014 Dopey Full – Ninth Wonder of the World – The Backside of the Castle

On to Liberty Square. Louis from the Princess and the Frog was there again. I know Leslie really wanted a picture with him, so I did not stop when we did the half. I decided to stop and get the picture during the Marathon.  And of course I had to stop and get another picture with the train – being careful not to get any grease on my hand this time.

2014 Dopey Full - Look Both Ways Before Crossing the Tracks

2014 Dopey Full – Look Both Ways Before Crossing the Tracks

Rapunzel and Flynn were out at the float behind stage and I was tempted – but the line was long.  As I got to mile 7 I saw that Golfer Donald was out, or course Royal Mickey and Minnie were by the castle.

2014 Dopey Full - Golfer Donald (he does not get his own cart)

2014 Dopey Full – Golfer Donald (he does not get his own cart)

The course for the first 8 or so miles of the marathon is the same as half, actually both halves I ran there.  Shortly after mile 8 the course differs – instead of running past the Speedway – we run into it.

Dopey 2014 Full - The Course

Dopey 2014 Full – The Course

Our friend Mellisa ran the Goofy last year and said the ramp down under the track and then back up was murder on her knees.  I could see why – there is no other way of putting it – it sucked.  I have to admit I was kind of disappointed with the inside of the Speedway. I believe last year they had Lightning there – he was not there this year. They did have a mini car show – but it really paled in comparison to the miles of cars at the Disneyland half

2014 Dopey Full - Speedway

2014 Dopey Full – Speedway

Most people that read this know that we have spent a few winters hanging out in the Orlando area and of course spent a lot of time at Disney. Our GPS always showed what appeared to be a Mickey head shaped lake in the middle of the track, and it also shows up on Google maps.  I was really disappointed that I did not see it, perhaps if I climbed to the top of the track I might have – but that seemed like a lot of work and since mile 9 was in the track – I still had 17 to go and did not want to expend the energy that would have been required.

We headed out of the track and instead of going back up World Drive towards EPCOT, we went off on Bear Island Road – one that I have never been on before (even driving around the parks).  Between mile 9 and 10 there was a photo stop with Millicent and the Shadow Man. I was feeling pretty good about stopping and being able to maintain a good pace – but I did not stop.

It was obvious that this was not a road within Disney World that is not one that guests would travel, the landscaping was nothing like the guest areas of the complex.  I am now somewhere between mile 10 and 11 and off to the side of the road ahead I see a large alligator. For a moment this concerned me, but I realized it did not move and the runners nearer to it were not at all concerned.  In the picture below you will see a road going off to the right – down the road was a gate and fences – that had a sign that said high security area – I wonder if that is the area where they relocate the alligators to.

2014 Dopey Full - Incentive to Run Faster

2014 Dopey Full – Incentive to Run Faster

There were little signs along the side of the road asking “Are your Dogs Barking Yet?” – I did not get a picture, but then it became clear. There were 3 famous Disney Dogs available for pictures, Pluto, Bolt and Doug. Since Doug was there I had to stop for a picture.

2014 Dopey Full - Dogs a Barking

2014 Dopey Full – Dogs a Barking

As I approached mile 11 I knew this area was not on the normal tour. There was a sign to the Recycle Transfer Station and the parking area for the garbage trucks – they could have painted them a bit nicer.

2014 Dopey Full - This is Not on the Nornal Tour

2014 Dopey Full – This is Not on the Nornal Tour

As we continued on we passed Captain Hook and Smee  on the side of the road and down the road a little is the horticulture area. I did not see any topiaries, just lots of green houses and shrubs.

2014 Dopey Full - Where are the Topiaries

2014 Dopey Full – Where are the Topiaries

A little before the mile 12 marker, we enter the back stage area of Animal Kingdom. I did spot a cast member with pins, but decided to wait until I got in the park (mistake – I did not get a trade done in the park). However there was a resting area for the cast members that walk on the stilts.

014 Dopey Full - Seating for Really Tall People

014 Dopey Full – Seating for Really Tall People

And I got my picture taken with a bird – I need to send this our friends Char and Forest to identify the bird for me. And Dottie with her Marathon bib – I don’t think she ran the whole thing.

2014 Dopey Full - WIldlife in Animal Kingdom

2014 Dopey Full – WIldlife in Animal Kingdom

After mile 12 we got into the actual guest area of the park and I stopped for a picture with Jiminy Cricket and also Minnie and Daisy.  Although I did not stop with Baloo.

2014 Dopey Full - Picture Stops in Animal Kingdom

2014 Dopey Full – Picture Stops in Animal Kingdom

When I went by Expedition Everest – I was tempted.   I was pleased with the pace I was keeping given how many stops I was making for mile marker sign and standing in lines for characters, but the area was a mess with a couple of tour groups, so I just carried on.

2014 Dopey Full - Expedition Everest

2014 Dopey Full – Expedition Everest

Mile 13 was in a back stage area of Animal Kingdom and the cast members and volunteers in the area making a big deal about being half way done.  I yelled back at them that us Dopeys hit our half way point around mile 2 and we are now way beyond half. This got great responses from the other Dopeys in the area.   I was surprised to see Mickey and his safari trucks in the parking lot of Animal Kingdom, but realized that the Magic Kingdom was open, so Royal Mickey and Minnie no longer needed to be by the Castle.

2014 Dopey Full - Safari Mickey

2014 Dopey Full – Safari Mickey

I knew there were going to be a few miles of road again until we got to ESPN.

2014 Dopey Full - More Miles To Go (And Leslie Wonders Why I Walk in the Road)

2014 Dopey Full – More Miles To Go (And Leslie Wonders Why I Walk in the Road)

It is good that they got some of the grave diggers working overtime to get rid of the bodies of the runners that could not go on and were scattered along the sides of the road.

2014 Dopey Full - I Can Not Go On

2014 Dopey Full – I Can Not Go On

When I got to the marker for mile 16 I had to stop and get a picture – Snow White was on the marker. As I was standing there taking my picture a woman ran up to me and asked if she could get my picture by the sign, and also offered to get a picture of me with the marker with my camera for me

2014 Dopey Full - Snow White and Snow White

2014 Dopey Full – Snow White and Snow White

Around mile 16.5 or so we turn off of Osceola Parkway and onto S. Victory Way by the ESPN sign. There are miles and miles of running within ESPN – but I also knew that Leslie was waiting for me with a clementine in Champions Stadium.

2014 Dopey Full - Made it to ESPN Wide World of Sports

2014 Dopey Full – Made it to ESPN Wide World of Sports

There is a lot of running in the ESPN complex – close to 3 miles. Each time it looked like we were running to the Stadium we would turn and run away from it again. It was nice running on the track – they should really make a whole separate 26 mile long path made of that cushy stuff for the marathon.

014 Dopey Full - Miles to go Inside ESPN

014 Dopey Full – Miles to go Inside ESPN

At various times during the race my confidence of finishing got stronger. When I made it thru the Magic Kingdom with a good average pace that was increasing my lead on the balloon ladies even though I walked a good bit and stopped for lots of pictures it made me feel good. When I got to Animal Kingdom and was still maintaining a good pace and felt great I really started to believe that even if my knee gave me problems I would be able to finish.  Well by the time I got to Champions Stadium, which is right before mile 20 and I was not feeling like I have gone 20 miles and I was convinced that I would complete the run without my knee hurting.

I entered the stadium and went over to the side to take a picture, and then I started to run the course around keeping my eyes open for the castle hat.

2014 Dopey Full - Inside Champions Stadium

2014 Dopey Full – Inside Champions Stadium

I found Leslie and collected my clementine. Leslie purchased a Dopey hat from Disneyland Paris and was going to surprise me with it after I earned my Dopey. I ruined her surprise when I found the hat about a week before we left. She had the hat and swapped out my Dumbo hat with the bow for the Dopey hat for the last 6 miles of the run. I stood and ate my clementine, changed my hat and chatted with Leslie for a couple of minutes before continuing the run.

2014 Dopey Full - Champions Stadium Time for a Hat Change

2014 Dopey Full – Champions Stadium Time for a Hat Change

After leaving stadium we had a little more running to do in the ESPN center before we went back on the roads heading to Hollywood Studios. As I was running on Osceola Parkway towards ESPN there was a steady stream of running going the other direction, but by the time I got back on the Parkway they were cleaning up the other direction.  In the 20th mile were some signs with Disney quotes on them.   I started to tear up a bit when thought to myself a year ago I dreamed of doing the Goofy and today was doing the Dopey.

2014 Dopey Full - A Few Words from Walt

2014 Dopey Full – A Few Words from Walt

Somewhere in the 21st mile I managed to get a pebble in my shoe, sometimes it will work itself into a place where you can just ignore it, but that was not the case. I went the side and sat on a guard rail and took my shoe off – as soon as I did this other runners would ask if I was OK. It was not long before a medic on a bicycle rode by and also checked on me.  Pebble out of shoe and I continued on to get my second picture with a Green Army Man today.

2014 Dopey Full - Second Green Army Man of the Day

2014 Dopey Full – Second Green Army Man of the Day

As I started to climb the overpass  that goes over the entrance to Hollywood Studios Parking  I thought that I was soon going to enter the park – I did not realize that we were headed another mile down World Drive and would enter the Park at the other end.

2014 Dopey Full - Getting Near Hollywood Studios

2014 Dopey Full – Getting Near Hollywood Studios

The 22nd mile was fun – we entered the Hollywood Studios backstage area near The Hollywood Tower of Terror.  I then spotted Wreck-It-Ralph and got a quick picture with him before following the path along where the backstage tour travels. We actually ran thru the tunnel area where the tour shows the costuming area.

2014 Dopey Full - Hollywood Studios Back Lot Tour

2014 Dopey Full – Hollywood Studios Back Lot Tour

I must have really gotten into absorbing the experience of running thru Hollywood Studios – I did not get a picture of the Mile 23 sign.  I think this was the only sign I missed on all 4 runs.  As I ran down New York Street in the Studios – I saw a cast member with pins on.  I ran over and at first he looked a little confused. I scored a “Wanna Trade?” pin as my second trade of the race.

2014 Dopey Full - In Hollywood Studios

2014 Dopey Full – In Hollywood Studios

We then exited the park and I had to stop to take a picture of Sorcerer Mickey and the Brooms at the front of the park.  I asked a woman who was watching the runners go by if she would take a picture for me.

2014 Dopey Full - Leaving Hollywood Studios

2014 Dopey Full – Leaving Hollywood Studios

There is a path that goes from the entrance of Hollywood Studios along the waterway to the Boardwalk area and then to the International Gate of EPCOT.  I know this well back in October we went to Orlando for a conference and spent a day and half at Disney before we flew back to Seattle. We stayed in the Boardwalk and since I had to do a 10K training run – I ran the path back and forth a number of times to get my 6.2 miles. I think I was starting to annoy a number of the others on the path. I was continuing to do my intervals and I could see there were people in pain just walking.

2014 Dopey Full - Boradwalk

2014 Dopey Full – Boradwalk

I approached the International Gate and did not realize that we were going to go to the right and backstage for a bit before entering the World Showcase.  However the man, or should I say Dwarf of the hour was there to great his fellow Dopeys. Of course I stopped for a picture.

2014 Dopey Full - Dopey with Snow Dopey

2014 Dopey Full – Dopey with Snow Dopey

We went backstage and entered the World Showcase on the side of the UK. Of course we had to get the entrance by the long route around – but after almost 25 miles what is a couple of more steps. I was on top of the world as I started my walk around the world. I got a few pictures here and there along the way.

2014 Dopey Full - The World Showcase

2014 Dopey Full – The World Showcase

And then I got to Germany. On the side of Germany is a spot with Snow White hangs out and greets guests.  As I got near I saw there was a line and then I saw she was there. I also noted the cast member standing at the end of the line and my heart sank. I left the course and ran over to the cast member who told me the line was closed and that Snow would be back in about 40 minutes.   I begged but of course she could not let me in the line.  I actually considered waiting – I mean how often do you run a marathon thru EPCOT dressed as Snow White with a Dopey Hat on and can get a picture with the real Snow White?  I have heard that once you get into Hollywood Studios if you are still moving they will let you finish no matter how long it takes.  If I am standing in line for a character picture – but pacing back and forth does that count as moving?

I thought about it all and figured it was just not too be and was slowly making my way back to the course, when a woman with a couple of small kids yelled over that I could take her spot.  I asked her if she was really sure and she said they were going to be in the park all day and still at Disney for a number of day and I could really take her spot.  I wish I got her name and information – so I could send her a thank you card.  I had a great little chat with Snow and then continued on my way towards the finish line.

2014 Dopey Full - Snow White and Dopey Snow

2014 Dopey Full – Snow White and Dopey Snow

I continued on and got my last character picture with Mushu.

2014 Dopey Full - Last Character of the Race - Mushu

2014 Dopey Full – Last Character of the Race – Mushu

As I passed Mexico – I really thought about stopping and getting a Margarita until I realized I had no form of payment on me.  I will have to rectify that for my next Walt Disney World Marathon.  As I started up the path in Future World towards the EPCOT ball, I remember looking at the ball from the other side 4 mornings earlier and could not believe I was almost done.  There was a guy that was not a cast member that was taking pictures for some of the runners – so I asked him for one also.

2014 Dopey Full - The Other Side of the EPCOT Ball

2014 Dopey Full – The Other Side of the EPCOT Ball

I stopped at the pin trading booth in EPCOT and made a trade for a Figment pin, and since I had a pin that did not get traded in Animal Kingdom I also traded for the Mickey thumbs up pin.

2014 Dopey Full - Bib with Pins

2014 Dopey Full – Bib with Pins

It was then onto the backstage area where the marker for mile 26 was.

2014 Dopey Full - Almost Done

2014 Dopey Full – Almost Done

And there is the finish line.  I ran over and got a high five from Goofy before crossing the finish line.

2014 Dopey Full - The Fnish Line with Goofy

2014 Dopey Full – The Fnish Line with Goofy

I got my marathon medal and then went towards the area for the special medals. They checked my wrist bands and put the Goofy Medal around my neck – the last medal to go around my neck was the Dopey.  I did it.

2014 Dopey Full - Mickey, Goofy, and of course Dopey

2014 Dopey Full – Mickey, Goofy, and of course Dopey

I went into the race retreat tent for some breakfast (or lunch?) and to re-connect with Leslie.   I then headed back to the resort to take an ice bath and change while Leslie hung out with some friends and then went into EPCOT.

When I got back to EPCOT – we took pictures with our medals, and in true Dopey fashion – I walked the World Showcase again since 26 plus miles in one day is just not enough (and dinner was in Japan at the other end of the Showcase).

I am proud to say that I am indeed Dopey.

Just a Little Dopey

The weekend part of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend finally arrived – it was Saturday the day for the half marathon. Back when it started it was a weekend event, they only had a marathon. Four years later they added the half – so I assume that was weekend. Now the events start on Wednesday with the Expo and go thru Sunday with the running of the marathon. I guess Mickey’s weekends are 5 days long, I wish I were him.

Of course we had to get up very early to have breakfast, get ready and then head out to catch the bus to head over to EPCOT yet again. Unlike the small crowd of only 10,000 runners for the 5 and 10K there would be somewhere between 20 and 25 thousand people running and a good number of others going to chEar, so we knew we needed to get an early bus.

Each of the Disney races has a primary character – the half is Donald’s race.  The plan was to do the half together at Leslie’s pace, so of course we did a joint costume. I was Donald and Leslie was Daisy. The hats we wore were from Tokyo Disneyland (we decided we are going to have to visit Tokyo Disneyland to buy more hats in the future).

2014 Dopey Half - Donald and Daisy Ready for a Little Run

2014 Dopey Half – Donald and Daisy Ready for a Little Run

We got to EPCOT and met up with friends and chatted for a while we waited until it was time to head to the starting corals. Since I was doing the Dopey I also bought the race retreat which gave me access to a special tent that had breakfast (but nothing I could eat – mainly bagels), a separate set of porta potties , and special character opportunities.  (more about the race retreat after the race).  Here is my picture I got in the race retreat.

2014 Dopey Half - Mary Poppins

2014 Dopey Half – Mary Poppins

For the 5K there were lots of costumes, less on the 10K and even less on half. This Japanese couple made an impression on everyone.  Yes he did carry it for the whole race.

2014 Dopey Half - He is Committed to his Costume

2014 Dopey Half – He is Committed to his Costume

Unlike the 5 and 10K’s which had only 5 corals and started in the parking lot of EPCOT, the half (and full) had 17 corals which with the Start line are on Epcot Center Drive.  This time Leslie and I were in the same corral – L.  It was a long walk from the staging / finish area to our corral, and from what I figured on Google maps it was about a .4 miles from our corral to the start line.  Here is the map of the half course.  It started to rain a little before the start of the half, and Leslie and I sat under the Overpass Road overpass. You can see how far that is from the parking lots and the start line.

2014 Dopey Half Course Route

2014 Dopey Half Course Route

Well we had lots of time waiting. We had to be in our corral before the start of the race at 5:30 and our corral was not scheduled to start until 6:17. After a long wait and slowly inching forward we finally got close enough to get a picture of the start line

2014 Dopey Half - Start Line

2014 Dopey Half – Start Line

It was finally time for us to start and we were on our way. As we moved forward we listened and counted off the fireworks that stated the following corrals so we could estimate how much of lead we had on the balloon ladies at the end of the pack.  As we went I would stop and take pictures of the mile markers and then catch back up with Leslie.

Of course Disney has characters out in various locations along the race route, but they also have other decorations along the way. I really liked this banner that was hanging from a lighted balloon type thing. The wind made it difficult to get a good picture, but I stood there for a little and got one.

2014 Dopey Half - Race Decorations

2014 Dopey Half – Race Decorations

Somewhere between mile 2 and 3 we go thru the gates where cars stop to pay the parking fee.  The course for the half is the same course we did when we ran the Princess half back in February, but Leslie and I were not walking together so I got a picture of her in front of the gate (sorry it’s a little blurred).

2014 Dopey Half - Entrance to the TTC

2014 Dopey Half – Entrance to the TTC

Between mile 3 and 4 there were some cars (from the driving experience) and Launchpad. Of course I had to stop and get a picture of Donald and Launchpad. I am guessing that he had not seen that hat before he made a big deal and we interacted for longer than normal during a race.

2014 Dopey Half - Donald and Launchpad

2014 Dopey Half – Donald and Launchpad

The marker for mile 4 is in the Ticket and Transportation Center near the building that has the bathrooms.  There was a band in the TTC and then we head back out onto World Drive towards the Contemporary.  I took what I thought was going to be a great picture of the Contemporary – but I guess I need to stop when I take the pictures so they are just a big blur (most likely I will forget in the excitement of my next race). Next up it was time to go under the water bridge that connects the Seven Seas Lagoon with Bay Lake.  The guy on the top of the bridge with the giant Mickey hands was a blast telling everyone to breathe normally even they we are going under water. It made me think of Dory and all I could  think was just keep running, just keep running.

2014 Dopey Half - Just Keep Swimming

2014 Dopey Half – Just Keep Swimming

The mile marker for Mile 5 is just before we enter the side backstage entrance to the Magic Kingdom.

2014 Dopey Half - Entrance to the Magic Kingdom

2014 Dopey Half – Entrance to the Magic Kingdom

Then there is Main Street – it is so much fun running or walking in a race down Main Street. There is always a group of people there to cheer you on.

2014 Dopey Half - Running on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom

2014 Dopey Half – Running on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom

Leslie and I stopped for a picture at the end of Main Street in front of the Castle.

2014 Dopey Half - Picture In Front of the Castle

2014 Dopey Half – Picture In Front of the Castle

From there we head into Tommorowland – where I managed to do my Magic Kingdom Half Marathon Pin trade. I don’t really care which pins I get during these trades – but I managed to get one that I did not have. From there we head into FantasyLand and thru the castle. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that there were not trumpeters on the castle as there were for the Princess.  Then it is thru Liberty Square  where Louis from the Princess and the Frog was hanging out and into FrontierLand where the marker for mile 6 is.

In the back side of FrontierLand you cross back into the backstage area of the park.  This area also has a Railroad crossing and they had one of the Steam Engines there with some conductor cast members. I decided to stop and get another photo. Well one of the people before me got down on the ground in front of the train making it look like the train hit them. Of course I had to do this also. The problem was that I held on to the front of the train and ended up with grease on my hand which then went onto my skirt.

2014 Dopey Half - Watch out for the Train

2014 Dopey Half – Watch out for the Train

In the backstage area they had the big float that the Prince and Princesses are on, with a Prince and Princess for pictures. If it was someone other than Aurora I might have stopped.  We then left the backstage area and went onto Floridian Way, where I stopped for a picture with a Cars like VW fire van, which was with the RCFD around the half-way point.

2014 Dopey Half - RCFD Van

2014 Dopey Half – RCFD Van

A big part of mile 7 is along the side of the Grand Floridian and the course gets really narrow during this area which is not fun.  There were some reindeer out for a picture, but for the life of me I could not really figure out what they had to do with Disney.

2014 Dopey Half - Reindeer

2014 Dopey Half – Reindeer

Things got interesting right before mile 8. I should have stopped for a picture with golfer Mickey and his fancy cart, but I figured I would do it during the full if I had the time, not realizing that Mickey could not be out golfing for his race.  I did like the trivia signs about Donald; I learned things I did not know.  It looks like I did not get the first sign which talked about his grandparents.

2014 Dopey Half - Golfer Mickey and Donald Trivia

2014 Dopey Half – Golfer Mickey and Donald Trivia

Then there is the long road back. There really is not all that much noteworthy for the next number of miles. Just a long road to the finish. Somewhere between mile 10 and 11 there were a group of cast members from the Disney Cruise Line with one of their busses. I would have been a lot more impressed if they had the Disney Dream on the side of the road.  There is also the dreaded ramp that goes from World Drive back onto Epcot Center Drive between 10 and 11.

Having run the course twice I think the area between getting back on Epcot Center Drive and actually getting back into EPCOT might be the worse section of the run. There is another overpasses  shortly after you get back on Epcot Center Drive.  There is no real entertainment and there is this annoying section where you go a bit past the turn and then have to go back before climbing yet another overpass to climb to go over Woodpecker Lane.

Shortly after that we are diverted into the parking lot and the emotion of having really done it starts to build.

2014 Dopey Half - The End is in Sight

2014 Dopey Half – The End is in Sight

We enter the park on the right side (assuming you are facing the EPCOT ball), run towards the World Showcase. We stopped for out only joint picture during the race right at the start of the World Showcase. From there we run back towards the EPCOT Ball and the pin trading booth. Ah the Pin Trading Booth.  The park is open so there are cast member working in the booth. During the Princess I ran up to the booth and asked to see their pins – the case member stood there for a moment looking at me realizing I was participating in the race and wanting to trade pins and was not sure what to say or do. So I did it again and I made a trade for a Fozzy Bear pin.

2014 Dopey Half - Dopey Bib with Pins

2014 Dopey Half – Dopey Bib with Pins

From Pin Trading Booth the course takes a right hand turn and goes back stage where the Hallelujah Choir performs to propel the runs forward thru the most important part of the entire race – the last one tenth of a mile.   We got our medals, and I went to get my third wrist and last wrist band (I got a different wrist band after each race which I would trade in for my Dopey Medal at the end of the marathon).  It was a lot of fun doing the race with Leslie and look forward to doing more races together. Since I had the race retreat and Leslie had the Chear Package, we headed into the tent to have some well-deserved breakfast of bacon and eggs.

Then it was back to the bus to return to the All Star Movies resort.

2014 Dopey Half - Job Well Done

2014 Dopey Half – Job Well Done

After we took our ice baths, showers and got into some clean clothes we decided to explore the All Start Movie Resort and get pictures. It turns out that Donald and Daisy spend a good amount of time hanging out at All Star Movies – so we got some pictures with them.

2014 Dopey Half - Visiting with Donald and Daisy

2014 Dopey Half – Visiting with Donald and Daisy

After our photo session we made our way over to the Wave for a wonderful dinner with our friends Niki, Steve, and Rebecca. It was a wonderful end to a really delightful day.   It was again time to head home and get to sleep, although Leslie had completed her running I still had one more little run to do to earn my Dopey. I really enjoyed running with Leslie and was a little sad that she would not be joining me for my run on Sunday.  Perhaps next year?

Impossible Things Are Happening Everyday

So a couple years ago I would have told you that for me to run a half marathon was Impossible. Well I am here to tell you that impossible things are happening everyday.

Christopher Reeve said, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll

Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Quotes about impossible things becoming possible are some of my new favorites. In the beginning running a mile seemed impossible and then I did it. Then running 3 miles seemed impossible. I will never forget the day I ran my first 10k (6.2-mile) distance. I was on a treadmill in a gym in Apopka, Florida. I was supposed to run 5.5 that day but when I got to 5 miles I felt wonderful so I decided to plug on. Part of the reason was because I knew that on the map for the Princess Half Marathon I was training for around mile 6 is where you run through the castle.

When I started this whole running thing I really honestly thought to myself that if I just made it to the castle I would be completely happy to just be done with it all. Of course months later after I successfully completed my 10-mile and 13-mile walks (I couldn’t run due to my bone spur) I knew that the castle would never really be enough, that I wanted to finish.

Back in July/August I tore my calf muscle just weeks before what was supposed to be my second half marathon at Disneyland. I was devastated. I cried for a week and then I pulled myself together and went to the doctor. I went through over 3 months where I wasn’t able to run at all and I had to rest my leg. I did massage therapy and acupuncture in hopes that it would speed up the healing process. When I was finally able to run again I was terrified of being injured AGAIN. I decided I needed to back off running for a bit and strength train and focus on losing weight so that my body could better handle the running thing. I made the decision that I may not run the half marathon in January that I already signed up for.

As the months went by I started walking again and I lost 28 pound and 16 inches and things started to get easier. I got out and walked several days a week to try and increase my athletic tolerance. Around the middle of November I started running again. It is so very difficult running again after being off for so long. What was easy at one point is now a challenge and you have to fight your way through the first of many runs. I fought my way through and my speed increased some. Now I am as slow as a turtle running through peanut butter but at least now the peanut butter was more like caramel. Ha!

As I cheered for Bill for his marathon in December I decided when we got home I was going to try for a long distance run. Now it’s funny to me how two years ago a mile was impossible and now a “long” run was at least six miles. Boy how times change. I went out for my long run and easily finished eight miles which was quite a surprise given I had not run over three miles in nearly six months. Then two weeks later I plugged on to 10.5. I knew that I might be able to finish the half marathon. I was still too slow to stay ahead of the pacers but if I had enough of a buffer with my corral placements I knew I could do it the same way I did the Princess with the bone spur.

We get to Florida and I am not convinced anymore. I began doubting my ability and myself. I knew if I had all the time in the world I could go 13.1 miles but I don’t have all the time I have a limited amount of time. After the 10K I was really thrown into a world of doubt. Having to keep up with the Balloon Lady pacers was almost impossible for three miles. If they caught up and passed me I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch up with them for 13 miles. I had a good buffer with my corral placement and I should have an extra 20-30 minutes before they started after the last racer started. Bill decided to walk/run with me like we had planned to do for the 10k. If the balloon ladies caught up he was going to leave me and finish his race. I was very happy at the beginning of the race to hang out with all my friends that were running. I was also very happy with our Donald and Daisy costumes. We both looked great. We got to our Corrals and sat down because we had over an hour until we started. We started chatting with a few of the runners sitting near us. The thing I love about races and especially Disney races is everyone out there has something in common. We love Disney and we love to run. This makes everyone instant friends.

The time came for us to move forward as the race began for those in the early corrals. I felt like I left my stomach in the hotel room. I was not this nervous for the Princess because I was injured. For the Princess I was in motivation mode. I was going to go out there and do whatever it took to get as far as I could humanly go. I could easily have been compared the little train that could. Nothing was going to stop me. I swear the majority of the race at the Princess I spent staring at the area where my foot was going to hit next. I almost had blinders on to the majority of the experience. This race I wasn’t nearly as sick even though I still caught a nice head cold before the race. I wasn’t in the severe pain I was in at the Princess so I was more aware of what was going on around me.

Bill and I moved up to the starting line and I was not feeling secure. The thing about races is it doesn’t matter how you feel when the gun or fireworks go off you go. So off we went. We started out at a decent pace and as we went we would count the fireworks. We started in Corral L so the next set was M and then N next up O and finally P. The later corrals started out slower because they had a lot more people in them then the early corrals. With each set of fireworks would come a flood of people. People who forgot to put in a finish time or those that may have put in a fake ones and ended up in the last corral. All kinds of people behind me that are now faster then I am. Finally after the last corral set off the fast folks caught up and passed us. We were in the midst of a sea of people. I loved looking around and seeing all the people in costume. Costume running isn’t exclusive to Disney but people that run Disney are some of the best-costumed people. Many of you know how much I love running in costume so this is my happy place. So many great characters portrayed but that will have to be another blog.

2014 WDW Half -  Donald and Daisy

2014 WDW Half – Donald and Daisy

We made our way through the course and things had definitely improved with the extra corrals from the Princess race. It was not nearly as crowded as we made our way past the hotels and into the Magic Kingdom park.

Now the one thing that I was unhappy about for the Princess Half was we did not stop to take a picture in front of the castle. I was in such a state that I just wanted to keep pushing on. We stopped to have a cast member (employee) take our photo and she screwed up the camera so we didn’t get a picture. The one and only thing I wanted to make sure we did was to get a picture in front of the castle. We saw a cast member on Main Street and I darted over and handed him our camera. He snapped a great photo of us and we moved on. We rounded through the park and when we came out of the castle we ran over and got another photo right in front. I was pleased as punch. Now I just had to plug on so I could finish this thing.

2014 WDW Half - Picture In Front of the Castle

2014 WDW Half – Picture In Front of the Castle

We headed out of the Magic Kingdom and passed the 10k sign. I smiled remembering that first 10k run so very long ago when 10k was all I thought I would ever do. Well I sure as heck wasn’t ready to board a bus to the finish line I was gonna do this.

Things started looking more positive. At this point I knew there was big sweep at mile 10 so if I made it that far I hoped I could keep it up and finish. We pushed through mile 8 and 9 and Bill mentions that I was doing a heck of a lot better then I did at the Princess because by mile 7 I was mumbling to myself about how I felt like I was gonna die. LOL Well mile 9 I didn’t feel like I was gonna die but I sure felt like I wasn’t gonna be doing much that afternoon.

Now this is one of the funny things. The races start at 5:30 am east coast. So by the time I finished most of my friends and family on the west coast weren’t even up for their morning coffee. I swear at Disney races I have completed more before dawn then I do most days.

I munched down a couple almond butter packets in hope they would give me the last burst of energy I needed to get through the last 4 miles and when I was approaching the dreaded uphill area at mile 10 I put on the combination of Pink and Katy Perry that I know pumps me up and I tackled it hard. I went over to the far left and charged the hill like nobodies business making mile 10 my fastest mile the whole race. As I charged past the weary looking souls I got a number of very dirty looks for showing off all my energy. I would like to thank Jeff Galloway for some of that. Start slow and Finish Strong he says.

I got to the top of the hill and realize the balloon lady pacers were already on the hill somewhere behind me. I have passed one of the big sweep stations so I am feeling confident that I will finish now. I plow on up and down the little hills and when we hit the roundabout the balloons are less then half a mile behind. All I have to do is make it into Epcot and I know I will be allowed to finish. I put on more pumping music and plow up the last big hill at mile 11.

Bill actually fell behind me on the hills as he wasn’t prepared for how I was planning to TAKE THE HILL. I remember a scene from some old war movie my dad likes where they had to take the hill and I just put my head down and plow onward. I jogged down the downward slope into the Epcot parking lot. There waiting at the entrance into Epcot is the ever present and amazing Peggy. Peggy is a mother of a runner and she is at nearly every Disney race all year long. She hands out candy to those that want something sweet. She is an angel and I love seeing her.

We head into Epcot and now I know I will be allowed to finish. We get to the turn around by the lake and since I know I am safe I decide it is finally time for a character stop. Rafiki and Timon from the Lion King are standing there with no line at all. By the time most people get half a mile from the finish they are ready just to be done. Not me I see an opportunity for a character photo and that is all the incentive I need. With a mighty big grin on my face we get the photo and head towards the finish.

014 WDW Half - EPCOT Photo Stop

014 WDW Half – EPCOT Photo Stop

On our way back by we see the balloon ladies are mere yards behind us. I am about done. I have next to no energy left but I want to beat the balloon ladies. One last good sprint as far as I can go and then walking it into the finish line. Donald Duck is standing off to the right of the finish line. I am dressed as Daisy so I make a calculated choice and let the balloon ladies pass while Bill takes my picture with Donald.

2014 WDW Half - Leslie at the Finish Line with Donald

2014 WDW Half – Leslie at the Finish Line with Donald

My hat is crooked but I don’t even care. I have FINISHED! I wept. I seriously just broke down. Princess weekend I thought I would cry more but I just was so determined I couldn’t think of anything. This race was so much more emotional for me. We walked through and received our medals and then Bill got his third wristband to show he had completed the race for his Dopey medal.

2014 WDW Half - Leslie Gets New Bling

2014 WDW Half – Leslie Gets New Bling

 

We got our photos with our medals and then headed over to the race tent for a bite to eat before heading back to the hotel. Mary Poppins wasn’t in the tent when I finally got there so I didn’t get my photo but that just means next time I gottta run faster. Yes there will be a next time.

Walt Disney said, “It’s Fun To Do the Impossible.”