I am back home! (Did I mention that I got a Fitbit for Christmas from one of my besties?? That’s how I know how many steps I took while on my trip this weekend! But that’s for another post!)
I had an absolutely phenomenal weekend! On my way down to Orlando I had a layover in Houston, Texas! While walking to my gate I spotted two women in front of me wearing Minnie Mouse ears! This made it pretty obvious that they were flying to Orlando as well.
At the gate, I asked one of them if she was running one of the races over the weekend. (There is a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, full marathon, Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge.) She was running the full marathon but had run Disney’s Wine and Dine Half-Marathon in November (this race is now on the “to run” list!). She gave me the best advice ever. She told me not to go for time, to take pictures with all the characters, to stop to take pictures of the scenery and just enjoy the race. And that is exactly what I did this weekend.
When I arrived to Orlando, the temperature was 81*! Just think…it had been -45* with windchill on Monday! Now that’s a temperature swing if I ever felt one!
I met up with Cheryl and Michaela in the airport and we boarded the Magical Express to our hotel where we were given our Disney wrist bands that are the new Disney “thing”.
I then asked these two wonderful friends to help me make signs for my race. You see, the Disney World Marathon Series benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A friend’s 4-year-old niece, Ava, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and my grandmother died from the disease several years ago. I was running the marathon for these two women. And because Miss Ava is the perfect Disney age, I decided to get pictures with the characters holding signs to support her!
Then we headed off to the Expo at the ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex to pick up our bibs and do a little shopping. Look at this sweaty band that Michaela found that matches my Minnie Mouse outfit perfectly??
We then went to Downtown Disney for dinner and I thoroughly confused the waiter when I ordered 4 “cups of dirt” for our table instead of “lava mud”. Really?? He couldn’t make the connection? I mean if you are going to do the kid thing at Disney, you might as well go all out, right??
I ended my night setting out my race gear and writing Ava’s name and my grandmother’s name on my arms so that they would be running with me.
After about 4 short hours of sleep, we were back up to get dressed for the race and to catch our bus over to Epcot! (We were up at 2:45am and on the bus by 3:15am!! Early morning!!) Note to all runners–pack multiple sports bras, socks, running shorts, etc. when running a race. The straps of one of my sports bras popped when getting dressed Saturday morning! Good thing I had two! Cheryl was awesome and woke from her slumber to take pictures of us in our outfits. It was way too warm to wear my sleeves for the actual race.
Then it was time to get pumped up at Epcot! There was music blasting, photographers making the rounds and people dancing everywhere until it was time to head to the corrals.
I was in Corral A, so I was the first to leave. As soon as the fireworks went off, we were on our way! And holy humidity! It was so incredibly humid on Saturday! Well, at least for the first 6-7 miles. But I stopped at every water station and took pictures with every character on the course and had an absolute blast! The good thing about being in Corral A is that I didn’t have to wait in line at all to get my picture taken! I literally just ran up to the characters!
And my absolute fav! Me and Mickey!!
The race went from Epcot through all the parts of the Magic Kingdom and then ended at Epcot. It was unbelievable! I am definitely going to do it again (I was convinced to do the Dopey Challenge next time–that is running all 4 races–the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and full marathon.) I am always up for a good challenge. 🙂
My half-marathon time was one of my slowest at 1 hour 56 minutes 22 seconds, but I was just going out for fun. I was the 1,296th finisher of 20,245 finishers. I was the 287th female and 48th in my division of 25-29 year-old women. I was pretty pleased with those stats!
Since this post is getting to be forever long, I will conclude by HIGHLY recommending the Disney World Half-Marathon. (If you want to run part or all of the Dopey Challenge with me next year, message me!!) And I will save the rest of the Orlando fun (and several thousand more steps!) for another post! Along with quite a few more pictures!
Quote of the Day:
“If it rains on your parade, splash in the puddles.”
I am a HUGE fan of shortbread. Shortbread are my absolute fav Girl Scout cookies. So, I decided to try this Pumpkin Shortbread while house sitting for Allison and Michael in December. Not too shabby! I had some huge fans of it at work!
– 1 1/4 cups flour
– 1/2 cup cornstarch
– 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
– 3/4 cup powdered sugar
– 1/2 cup pumpkin
– 2 cups powdered sugar
– 2 – 3 Tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 300*.
- Spray a 9″ tart pan with nonstick spray.
- In a bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
- In stand mixer beat butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add in pumpkin and beat until combined.
- Turn mixer to low and ad in dry ingredients until just incorporated.
- Spread dough into prepared pan. I used an off-set spatula to smooth the top.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes until form and golden brown.
- Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes and then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack.
- Mix up you glaze in a bowl and stir until there are no lumps. Pour desired amount of glaze on top of shortbread. Let glaze set and eat immediately.
Courtesy of Cookies & Cups